In brief, JPost says the Israelis were told this weekend that if they would agree to a 90-day freeze in settlement construction, the US would commit to giving them 20 new fighter jets and supporting their national integrity, with vetoes if necessary, in the UN – for the next year.
The import of the latter “promise” – unfortunately, scare quotes are appropriate here – is growing, with the threat that the UN will consider peremptory, non-negotiated declaration of a Palestinian state. As John Bolton wrote in October, this threat is a real one, and the Obama administration could very well respond by abstaining from any Security Council vote on the matter. To coin a phrase: You know in your heart he’s right. Barack “Vote Present” Obama is exactly the president to make that happen.
The ugly, cynical faithlessness of this move can hardly be overstated. Whether Israel, as a sovereign nation, has the irreducible right to negotiate her own borders is the kind of bedrock principle on which the US position should be firm and unmovable. The moment it is not – the moment it is put up for sale or made into a bargaining chip – we abandon our position in world leadership and become just another calculating nation, jockeying for factional advantage and partisan prizes.